The FBI Wants You To Know That FBI Forensics Might Not Exactly Be Correct.

All science is junk to some degree.

You know how that guy you read about on the news is guilty?  He confessed. And, even if he didn’t they have his hair at the crime scene.  That’s why Nancy Grace is crying about the case on T.V.  Nancy wouldn’t cry for no-good reason.  So you know the state has a good case.

That guy needs to be convicted and fry.  We all know he’s guilty.

But not these guys.  And by these guys I mean all of the “old” cases where the FBI helped convict and condemn people on similar evidence.  Apparently these guys might have suffered from being “mistakenly” linked to crimes through “exaggerated” scientific claims.  “Mistakenly” and “exaggerated” by the FBI, according to the Washington Post:

FBI officials discussed the review’s scope as they prepare to disclose its first results later this summer. The death row cases are among the first 120 convictions identified as potentially problematic among more than 21,700 FBI Laboratory files being examined.


At issue is a once-widespread practice by which some FBI experts exaggerated the significance of “matches” drawn from microscopic analysis of hair found at crime scenes.

Thankfully we are talking about old cases.  The law has come a long way since then (except, maybe, for in Georgia, of course).  Forensic Science has come a long way since then (except, maybe, for DNA, Fingerprints, or anything else crime lab corruption can screw up).  The accuracy of police interrogations has come so far (except, you know, for a pesky false confession or two).  Besides, the problems in the old cases really wasn’t that bad, anyway:

The new review listed examples of scientifically invalid testimony, including claiming to associate a hair with a single person “to the exclusion of all others,” or to state or suggest a probability for such a match from past casework.

Is that really any reason to let the scientific misgivings of the past diminish the scientific absoluteness of the present?  Of course not.  Besides,  we really shouldn’t expect total accuracy when it comes to  science and your freedom.   Forensic scientists have tough jobs toiling countless hours in windowless rooms.  They have to, like, measure things or count stuff.  They use calculators.

Cut them some slack. And, don’t point at them. They hate it when you point.

Matt Haiduk is an uncooperative Criminal Defense Lawyer with offices in Kane County and McHenry County, Illinois.  Feel free to mock him on twitter or add him on Google+.

Author: matthaiduk

Matt Haiduk is an uncooperative Criminal Defense Lawyer with offices in Kane County and McHenry County, Illinois. When he's not picking on people on the internet, he's playing frisbee with his dog or watching his girlfriend race bikes. Feel free to mock him on twitter or add him on Google+.

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